Foster care agencies face new challenges as COVID-19 continues to spread

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RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — COVID-19 has created a new normal for foster agencies across Texas.

“It’s impacted our ability to, obviously, have face to face visits with our foster families and foster children,” said Frank Lopez.

Lopez is the statewide director for foster care and adoption and said families and children are feeling the effects of the pandemic.

“Some of our families have expressed difficulty with some of the behaviors of, again, everyone being at home and trying to deal with the pandemic,” Lopez said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, foster care and adoptions hearings has gone virtual.

“Everyone feels more comfortable jumping on a Zoom call or some form of electronic media that the court is using or format or platform so that they can be a part of that,” he said.

That has not stopped the agency from helping children in need of a home. The agency is still working and helping people expand their families.

“We initial do a virtual visit where a family walks around and shows us their home and so as they get closer to that verification piece then we send a staff member out to physically and follow up with that visit,” Lopez said.

Lopez adds when visiting homes, they wear protect gear like masks and gloves and they will continue to work for what is best for the children to not re traumatize them while in foster care.

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